Raising the city living standard
Oct 26 2007 By Marsya Lennox
A new star on the city living scene is focusing fresh limelight on John Bright Street and the latest corner of Birmingham's residential renaissance.
The emerging £35 million Sirius scheme aims to hold its own in the central marketplace as a shining new showcase for some blinding finishes, and as the latest phase of Crosby's vast Orion project, it refuses to be overshadowed.
The developer, Crosby Lend Lease, has announced that Sirius is to get the stellar treatment, showcasing the company's highest specification to date.
That does not sound easy, considering the impression that has already been made with the showpiece offerings at Orion, apartments tweaked by international designer John Rocha.
Orion may rise higher than Sirius, among its nearest neighbours, but it shares a Birmingham orbit with this newcomer - notably some ground-breaking extras for residents including the super-smart foyer with its quartzite water wall and leather wall treatments.
Crosby wants to show that it can keep going one better, a pretty useful marketing ploy in the cut-throat city marketplace where it is known that only the best will shine in a crowd.
So the 182 studios, one and two bedroom apartments now coming on line will be receiving the full design treatment, equipped with some exclusive brands, say Crosby.
The homes are aimed at buyers after a stylish city retreat at the heart of the action.
There will be rather special kitchens by German manufacturer Poggenpohl, fitted as standard, and Crosby has tailored a deal with the kitchen name, ensuring that it will exclusively supply the company within the city centre.
So, the purchaser who likes Poggenpohl can only find one, in the city, at a Crosby scheme.
There are other things planned, including full height walnut veneer entrance doors, quality flooring by Karndean and bathroom tiling in Travertine marble.
Crosby prides itself on being a "leading light" in the city, says John Brown, Midland managing director of Crosby Lend Lease.
"As such, we have really raised the bar in terms of specification and design," adds John.
The quality kitchens are a "real coup" for Sirius. And the shared concierge facility at the extremely upmarket Orion, with its superior suites priced from £700,000, is another bonus, it is believed.
Many of the Sirius apartments will have Juliet balconies and others will have private roof terraces. All the homes will have secure parking spaces underground and full height picture windows are another feature.
Sirius presents an interesting picture in the street scene, essentially new build but with the character input of the retained façade, a reminder of the "old" Birmingham that still draws buyers. Crosby is no stranger to restoration projects, notably converting the Newton Chambers building on New Street in 2000, a scheme which paid dividends for early investors.
"Coupled with the Orion Building, Sirius will make the area around John Bright Street an exciting new zone for the city centre and will act as a vital link between the city's two major retail destinations at The Mailbox and the Bullring," adds John.
The first phase of apartments at Sirius is due for completion next summer and is now released for sale. Prices start from £164,950.
Details are available from Crosby Central, the marketing suite on Navigation Street, telephone 0121 643 7944.